Sterling typically focuses on downhill racing and is the current U.S. Junior National Champion in that discipline. But he switched things up to race the opening round of the 2020 California Enduro Series at China Peak Mountain Resort in Lakeshore, California, on his Reign Advanced Pro 29 enduro bike.
The China Peak Enduro was one of the first mountain bike races held this year in the U.S., which remains largely shut down to major events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Riders were required to follow COVID protocol and social distancing throughout the race’s five stages.
Sterling said the enduro format was a new experience for him. “There was so much crazy riding throughout five big stages,” he said. “It was a big shift from DH to this type of riding, and I was a bit overwhelmed with how much studying I had to do in terms of confidence and trail recognition. Based on Day 1 practice, I realized how much energy I had to conserve in what areas, so I focused on staying consistent on the downhills and saving enough energy to finish off sprinting on each stage.”
Sterling added that his bike and gear choices were perfect for the rocky, physical terrain of the Central California ski resort: “My Reign Advanced Pro 29 held up perfectly, and I’m super stoked to take the win!”
Round 2 of the California Enduro Series is scheduled for July 19 at Mt. Shasta in Northern California.